One of the greatest experiences that I have had at Grove City is the opportunity to be a leader in Young Life. Young Life is a Christian mentorship ministry whose mission is “introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.” Young Life is an international organization that reaches 600,000 kids in 99 countries throughout the world.
At Grove City, we minister to high schoolers, middle schoolers, and adolescents with special needs in four school districts throughout Mercer County: Grove City, Mercer, Hermitage, and Sharon. Experience in Young Life in high school is not required to be a leader! I hadn’t even heard of it before I came to Grove City. But, of course, if you do have experience in high school, this is a great way to continue in Young Life and step up as a leader!
The defining quality about Young Life is that it is a relational ministry. We go where kids are. We visit them in the morning at school, coach track and field, go to football games, and are actively involved in their lives. These actions tell kids that we are interested in them and want to be involved in their lives. Our hope is that they’ll see the love of Christ through us and will want to enter into that relationship! While all of this does demand a lot of sacrifice, the process of laying down your life draws you closer to Christ and deepens your relationship with him.
I am a Wyldlife leader in Mercer Middle School. This past summer, I had the opportunity to take a middle school girl to camp at Northbay in Northeast, Maryland. The goal of camp is to give kids an excellent experience in order to reflect the excellent love and nature of our God. There were four zip lines, bubble soccer, water tubing, kayaking, and a giant swing. My new friend had never been to church prior to this trip, and it was so great to see her light up throughout the week and listen and understand the gospel talks each night. At the end of the week, she gave her life to Christ! The unique thing about Young Life is that I still see her and get to disciple her through her new walk with Jesus!
The community of Young Life at Grove City is extremely rich. There are 50 leaders that are divided into 10 teams. Each of the teams is assigned to one specific middle or high school and they average around five college students. The relationships that you build with your team members and other members of Young Life is so unique because they’re built around a common love for Christ and a desire to lead kids to Him!